Sunday, May 15, 2016

ARC Review: The Only Option by Megan Derr

The Only Option (Dubious #4)
A desperate dragon. A lonely necromancer. A marriage neither wants.

When he is summoned to the royal castle, Rochus anticipates nothing more than a particularly difficult assignment. The bothersome journey is almost made worthwhile when he is propositioned by a young, beautiful dragon, Tilo, who seems untroubled by the fact that Rochus is a necromancer.

When Rochus arrives at the castle he is ordered to marry the very same dragon he spent the night with. Though Rochus would rather sign papers and return home, he is helpless against Tilo's pleas for help, even if it means spending more time around a man he is desperately drawn to but who doesn’t seem to want him.
Todd's rating:

This book is romantic fantasy done oh so right. I love a good Megan Derr story and I found this one to be very satisfying and it definitely hit the spot for me.

Rochus is a 43 year old necromancer, employed by the Queen for various tasks throughout the land, so when he's summoned to the castle, then subsequently required to marry in order to repay a royal debt, he's more than a bit pissed.

He isn't mad about the marriage, per se, but that he's being forced to marry Tilo, a beautiful, 20 year old dragon Lord from a distant kingdom. One with whom he had slept only the night prior. One who had requested the marriage and didn't happen to mention that small fact when they were having sex. Oops. Rochus had hoped their tryst was purely about attraction, but fears it was not.

The majority of the drama in the story arises from Rochus' inability to believe that a sexy, young dragon could actually be attracted to an older half-soul necromancer. But Tilo does find Rochus genuinely attractive, so his quest is to convince Rochus of such.

The majority of the action in the story surrounds overcoming an evil, neighboring Lord's plot to take over Tilo's kingdom by using necromancer-created creatures to drive out all of the inhabitants, including Tilo. But Tilo isn't going to lose his land and his people's homes without a fight.

This story is so much fun and, for once, Derr provided the reader with tons of sexy, flip-floppy bits, which I was so into, it isn't even funny. There is some serious heat on-page here, with zero of the abbreviated or fade to black scenes that I've seen in some of Derr's previous books, such a "Tournament of Losers." If you like heat, this story has it in steamy, versatile spades.

Another aspect of the story that I found both fresh and entertaining were Rochus' animal companions, including a rescued hornless black unicorn, two reanimated ravens and a once-dead, smartass, mischievous cat named Memory. I have so much love for Memory.

My only complaint would be that the story is a bit short, at only 114 pages, when I wanted so many more pages. It is just that compelling and entertaining.

The resolution of the romance felt unique and hopeful, too, so they do get what I feel is on its way to becoming a full-fledged HEA once the 'courting' dust has settled. And Tilo's courting was just everything here.

The book was also full of snark and banter, two if my favorite things ever in my reads, so it rates a highly-recommended 4.5 stars for me.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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